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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

St. Petersburg mayoral candidates sound off on Bennett

ST. PETERSBURG-- Jamie Bennett's rivals in the race for St. Petersburg mayor were mostly reluctant to demand he bow out of the race Monday, but that didn't stop them from criticizing his decision to hire campaign manager Peter Schorsch.

Bennett's campaign targeted at least four candidates: Kathleen Ford, Scott Wagman, Deveron Gibbons and Bill Foster.

Here's what they had to say:

Kathleen Ford: "Why are city baseball tickets going to the mayor of St. Pete Beach?" She suggested the city create a lottery so that the tickets could be distributed more fairly.

Sharon Russ: "Jamie is the most desperate person to be the mayor, and he would do anything to be the mayor. It doesn’t sound surprising to me. He should get out of the race. This is a very crucial race."

Paul Congemi: "He is a very nice man. Outside of that, I don’t have any comment."

Alex Haak: "That’s his problem, not mine. I see no reason why he should get out of the race, unless he thinks so himself."

Scott Wagman: "You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. If you lie down with wild dogs, you are going to get fleas. ... Those signals and signs were always out there. Jamie knew exactly what he was hiring in Peter Schorsch and Barry Edwards."

Bill Foster: "We all have to be responsible for the company we keep. Whether or not he knew is irrelevant. He had to know that somewhere in this process things could go bad. ... He knew himself that he was giving someone a second or a third or a fourth chance. So if you know that somebody has a propensity to maybe do things that are less than honorable during a campaign, you have to take responsibility for that."

Deveron Gibbons declined to comment. Larry Williams could not be reached for comment.

Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:52am]

    

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